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Warning as Christmas lights switch on

PUBLISHED: 23:11 05 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:08 03 March 2010

SAFETY officers have warned that if your Christmas lights are over ten years old they may be dangerous and should be thrown away.

All Christmas lights made after 1992 have been made to higher safety standard by law, and people should only buy lights with the mark BSEN 60592-2-20 on the box.

SAFETY officers have warned that if your Christmas lights are over ten years old they may be dangerous and should be thrown away.

All Christmas lights made after 1992 have been made to higher safety standard by law, and people should only buy lights with the mark BSEN 60592-2-20 on the box.

Trading Standards officers at Felixstowe who monitor and sample Christmas lights throughout the year have seen the impact the current safety standard has had on imports.

So far this year officers have sampled 29 shipments equating to nearly 200,000 sets of Christmas lights. Out of these modern lights only one batch was found to be electrically unsafe.

Peter Monk, member of Suffolk County Council's executive committee, said: "Every year there are fires and injuries from old and dangerous Christmas lights and if you have pre-1992 lights they are unsafe and should not be used. If you are in any doubt , don't dust off your old lights this year, bin them and buy a new set. A set of safe Christmas lights can be bought for under £5, a small amount when compared to what you could lose in terms of life and fire damage."

Follow the following festive fire safety tips:

Natural Christmas trees dry out quickly. DO NOT use hairspray to keep the needles on a natural tree as it is highly flammable and a fire risk.

Keep trees and decorations well away from open fires or other sources of ignition.

Check that all electrical decorations and lights are in good condition and are fused correctly.

NEVER wire two sets of Christmas lights together.

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